JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Joe Hockey's cigar smoking criticised by health expert

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Joe Hockey enjoy cigars outside Parliament House in Canberra.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Joe Hockey enjoy cigars outside Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Nine News

A leading health expert has criticised Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann for being ‘‘role models who should know better’’, after the pair were seen smoking in public.

The president of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, Mike Daube, said politicians had a responsibility to act as exemplars and Mr Hockey should "rethink his inappropriate public behaviour". 

On Friday, Channel Nine aired images of Mr Hockey and Mr Cormann lighting up cigars - widely considered symbols of power and success - only days before the government is expected to deliver a tough federal budget that could include cuts to welfare and a rise in the fuel excise.

This month it was reported that the two ministers smoke cigars together in a private courtyard at Parliament House immediately after question time on the days that Parliament sits.

Professor Daube said it was particularly ‘‘contradictory’’ for the Treasurer to be smoking in public only months after confirming a $5 billion tax rise on tobacco to be introduced over the next four years. 

‘‘Mr Hockey has done absolutely the right thing in raising the tobacco tax so it’s a shame he is spoiling that by inappropriate role modelling. He is happy to use the harms of smoking as a rationale for the tax so maybe he should gve a bit more thought to his own example.

‘‘What Mr Hockey does in his private is his own business, but he is a public figure and we don’t need treasurers promoting smoking,’’ Professor Daube said.   

40 comments

  • Is this what we've become?? Seriously??

    Firstly, in public? really? Looks like a paparazzi shot to me, taken over a fence or through a bush.

    Secondly, who cares? Good on ya Joe, you're a real person....a bloke that likes to relax having a cigar...big freakin' deal.

    I'd be smoking a lot more than cigars if I had the stress of his job.

    Why is this even in the news??

    Commenter
    Politically Correct Madness
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    May 11, 2014, 9:40AM
    • Celebrating his big new taxes more like.

      Commenter
      Abbottollah of Arrogance
      Date and time
      May 11, 2014, 11:22AM
  • I could criticise Mr. Hockey for many things at the moment but, as far as I am aware, smoking is still legal.

    Commenter
    Lonniegal
    Location
    Tasmania
    Date and time
    May 11, 2014, 9:43AM
    • I understand Mike Daube's concern considering the organisation he represents however Hockey is a soft target. What about the health professionals that continue to smoke? Why do they continue despite the evidence they see everyday? It's a choice Mike. Maybe a poor choice but expecting me to believe Joe Hockey is a role model for the average Australian smoker is a very long bow.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Date and time
      May 11, 2014, 9:46AM
      • Why would anyone see Joe Hockey as a role model for health (or financial expertise, for that matter)?

        Commenter
        Public Joe
        Date and time
        May 11, 2014, 9:46AM
        • Indeed, one look tells us he isn't interested in health...

          Commenter
          Brunswickgirl
          Date and time
          May 11, 2014, 11:51AM
      • Well, c'mon. After a hard day's slaving over a hot budget for the plutocracy Joe and Matt deserve to settle back with a Montecristo or a Cohiba. If they have any health concerns they can certainly afford to stump up the $6 to visit the Geeper.

        (Wait a minute...I wonder if these were indeed Cubans...wouldn't that mean these two free-market warriors were supporting an evil communist regime? Inquiring minds would like to know the brand.)

        Commenter
        Redsaunas
        Date and time
        May 11, 2014, 9:48AM
        • heh, heh, no doubt a gift from Big Tobacco. I thought the daughter caught fagging by the "other paper" with the boyfriend was a ripper. No doubt the phone was running hot over that one.
          As for the cigars, it's the symbolism that probably irritates most. Celebrating their triumphs over the plebs, the class warfare.

          Commenter
          A country gal
          Date and time
          May 11, 2014, 11:49AM
      • I think this so called health expert should stick to making statements about health matters not prominent person private doings. The last I knew, it was perfectly not only legal for adults to smoke in unrestricted public places let allow in private areas. They don't owe the public any special duty of care by not being seen to ever smoke.

        Commenter
        Chris
        Date and time
        May 11, 2014, 9:50AM
        • Professor Daube, please shut up. He is a politician, not a friggin role model!

          Commenter
          CSKN
          Date and time
          May 11, 2014, 9:50AM

          More comments

          Comments are now closed

          Related Coverage

          Featured advertisers

          Special offers

          Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo